The cold war between Saudi Arabia and Iran is heating up. The middle-east’s greatest rivalry has rapidly and significantly become more toxic in the past few days, and it could have repercussions across the region. Increasing tension between two traditional rivals threatens to further create more chaos in the already chaotic region. Countries like Iraq and Syria are slowly starting to gain stability after winning important battle against ISIS. But the growing hostilities between Saudi Arabia and Iran have the potential to derail the gain made by these conflict ridden countries.
Sunni powerhouse Saudi Arabia and Iran, the predominant Shiite power, have a long-standing rivalry based as much in geostrategic interests as religious differences. Facing off across the Gulf, the two energy-rich powers have for decades stood on opposing sides of conflicts in the Middle East. The Iranian revolution of 1979 and the advent of the Islamic Republic — with its fiercely anti-American slant — were perceived as a double threat to the conservative Sunni monarchies of the Arabian Peninsula, allied with the United States. The Sunni-Shiite divide between Saudi Arabia and Tehran is a crucial factor in conflicts between the two countries. Religious tensions have heightened since the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq that brought the majority Shiites to power in Baghdad instead of Saddam’s Sunni-dominated regime. US is also playing villainous role by trying to put Saudi Arabia against Iran. This is dangerous politics played by America will further destabilize the Middle East. For the greater cause of world peace both Saudi Arabia and Iran need to talk with each other in order to resolve the growing conflict.